John Denham, fully Sir John Denham

John
Denham, fully Sir John Denham
1615
1669

English Poet and Courtier, Surveyor of the King's Works

Author Quotes

Such was the force of his eloquence, to make the hearers more concerned than h he that spake.

Whosoever offers at verbal translation shall have the misfortune of that young traveller who lost his own language abroad, and brought home no other instead of it.

Man's that savage beast whose mind, from reason to self-love declined, delights to prey upon his kind.

Sure there are poets which did never dream Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose Those made not poets, but the poets those.

You prove but too clearly that seeking to know Is too frequently learning to doubt.

More in prosperity is reason tost than ships in storms, their helms and anchors lost.

Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean’s sons, By his old sire, to his embraces runs, Hasting to pay his tribute to the Sea, Like mortal life to meet eternity.

Youth, what man's age is like to be, doth show We may our ends by our beginnings know.

Night was our friend, our leader was Despair.

The age, wherein he lived was dark; but he could not want sight, who taught the world to see.

Nor ought a genius less than his that writ attempt translation.

The harmony of things, as well as that of sound, from discord springs.

Actions of the last age are like almanacs of the last year.

Nothing happens until something moves.

The man who first abused his fellows with swear-words instead of bashing their brains out with a club should be counted among those who laid the foundations of civilization.

And doubt, a greater mischief than despair.

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme! Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull, Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full.

The three first parts I dedicate to my old friends, to take off those melancholy reflections which the sense of age, infirmity, and death may give them.

Books should to one of these fours ends conduce, for wisdom, piety, delight, or use.

O happiness of sweet retir'd content! To be at once secure and innocent.

There are certain garbs and modes of speaking which vary with the times; the fashion of our clothes being not more subject to alteration than that of our speech.

Sure there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream
Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those.

The spring, like youth, fresh blossoms doth produce,
But autumn makes them ripe and fit for use:
So Age a mature mellowness doth set
On the green promises of youthful heat.

'T is in worldly accidents,
As in the world itself, where things most distant
Meet one another: Thus the east and west,
Upon the globe a mathematical point
Only divides: Thus happiness and misery,
And all extremes, are still contiguous.

O happiness of blindness! now no beauty
Inflames my lust; no other's goods my envy,
Or misery my pity; no man's wealth
Draws my respect; nor poverty my scorn,
Yet still I see enough! man to himself
Is a large prospect, raised above the level
Of his low creeping thoughts; if then I have
A world within myself, that world shall be
My empire; there I'll reign, commanding freely,
And willingly obey'd, secure from fear
Of foreign forces, or domestic treasons.

Author Picture
First Name
John
Last Name
Denham, fully Sir John Denham
Birth Date
1615
Death Date
1669
Bio

English Poet and Courtier, Surveyor of the King's Works